Inspiring Others, and the Grace of a Locked Door
As we begin our 5th year at Huntington Beach Laundrylove, we realize that in addition to the growth in what we do (laundry and conversation), we have developed relationships that enable us to help our homeless and poor guests find hope in their lives.
We've written about Ted before. Newly homeless (about a year). Working hard to get off the streets. He was sleeping between two dumpsters for most of the year. He has needed two surgeries. His first surgery was for his arm. Illumination Foundation helped him find shelter for his recovery. Not long enough, but still, it was a blessing.
His second surgery needs a longer recovery time, and so he needed a longer term recovery option. While at Thanksgiving dinner he was offered a chance to move into a room for a few days. He continued to work at getting housing, and at the January LL we heard that he has at last found it- an apartment, with assistance from American Family Housing.
"The first thing I did was to go into my apartment, lock the door, and lay down on my bed. I was so happy. I was safe. The door was locked!"
Laundrylove and the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles also helped him pay for his car insurance so he could begin to care for himself, get through his recovery and rehab after surgery, and then begin to look for work (he was educated as an engineer).
After 4 years, the focus on helping our friends find housing is paying off. Wow! It wasn't the first time, but it's still powerful to see.
Our friends from the ICNA, who met with us last month about starting a Laundrylove in Anaheim, showed up to get a look first hand at how we choreograph our Laundrylove. Right away they told us that they had identified a laundromat in Anaheim, and plan to start in February. ICNA serves the community in Anaheim with a clinic, and feeds homeless in a nearby park. So this is a logical next step for them.
After 4 years, and inspiring at least 8 other Laundryloves in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, it's awesome to see our relationship with Nayyer and the Islamic Center of Orange County bear fruit with the ICNA Laundrylove.
Other than that, we were able to help with laundry for about 25 people this month.
We were a little more disciplined and so we were able to complete laundry early this month.